Got an Apple Watch? Change These Settings to Get the Most Out of It

The Apple Watch is already easy to use, which is why it is one of our favorite smartwatches. But adjusting a number of settings could make all the distinction. Whether it is customizing the apps that seem in your dock or including a Portrait Mode picture as your background, making a pair of small adjustments might give your Apple Watch a extra private really feel. 

You’ll have the option to use these options and settings on any watch mannequin that Apple at the moment sells, which incorporates the 4-year-old Series 3 (though we wouldn’t recommend buying a Series 3 in 2022). But it is best to be sure that your watch is operating the newest model of Apple’s WatchOS 8 software. Doing so not solely ensures that your watch has entry to all of the newest options and enhancements, however it’s additionally a superb security measure since updates typically embrace security-related fixes. 

This fall, Apple Watch homeowners can have extra new options to look ahead to with the debut of WatchOS 9. The replace will carry extra detailed sleep monitoring and a brand new app for monitoring medicines to the Apple Watch. 

Here’s a have a look at the Apple Watch settings it’s best to change to get the most out of your watch.

Read extra: How WatchOS 9 Is Paving the Way for the Apple Watch’s Future


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9 settings to change in your new Apple Watch


Adjust all of your Activity targets

With the launch of WatchOS 7 in 2020, Apple added the possibility to change your targets for the quantity of time you stand and train. Previously, you could possibly solely change your Move (or energy) objective. 

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So as an alternative of utilizing the defaults — half-hour of train and a cumulative 12 standing hours a day — you’ll be able to change both one to suit your precise each day routine. 

This small change will make it attainable for you to hit your individual targets while you truly begin your day, not when Apple tells you to. For instance, when you use sleep monitoring in a single day and wish to cost your watch extra typically in the morning, you will not really feel such as you’ve misplaced an hour of time wanted to shut these rings.

Open the Activity app in your watch, scroll to the backside and faucet Change Goals. Make your changes for all three metrics and begin closing these rings. 

Read extraBest Workout Subscription Apps

Apple Watch showing activity rings

You now have full management over what it takes to shut your exercise rings. 

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So lengthy, random screenshots

To take a screenshot on the Apple Watch, you press the Digital Crown and facet button at the similar time. It’s a easy and handy methodology, until you are like me and end up regularly triggering it unintentionally, filling up the Photos app with random photos of your watch face. 

To flip off the means to take screenshots altogether, open the Settings app in your watch or use the Watch app in your cellphone and go to General and scroll down till you discover Screenshots. Tap this feature and toggle off the swap subsequent to Enable Screenshots for a clutter-free digicam roll. 

Customize which apps seem in your dock

If you’ve gotten rather a lot of apps put in in your Apple Watch, it may be troublesome to discover the proper ones while you want them. That’s the place the Apple Watch’s dock turns out to be useful. If you are not acquainted, the dock is actually the iPhone’s app switcher, however for the Apple Watch. You can set off it by tapping the facet button, which pulls up a carousel of not too long ago used apps.

However, you may also customise the dock to present any apps you need as an alternative of your most up-to-date apps. To do that in your watch, open the Settings menu, faucet Dock and choose the Favorites possibility. But I like to recommend setting this up in the Phone’s Watch app as an alternative to be able to customise these apps.

Open the Watch app in your iPhone and faucet Dock. Once the Favorites possibility is chosen, you may see a listing of apps divided into two sections: Favorites and Do Not Include. Favorites are the apps which are at the moment in your dock, whereas the latter lists all of the different apps in your watch that are not included. Tap the Edit button in the high proper nook to customise the Favorites listing to your liking. 

Choose the Portrait mode pictures you need to see in your wrist

You can set Portrait mode pictures as the background on your watch face. But first, you’ve gotten to dig into the settings in the Watch app in your iPhone. To get began, launch the Watch app and navigate to the Face Gallery tab at the backside of the display screen. Then, faucet the Portraits possibility underneath the New Watch Faces class. Tap the Choose Photos possibility underneath Content to choose up to 24 pictures that may rotate mechanically while you elevate your wrist or faucet the display screen. 

Apple Watch showing photos in Portrait Mode

Apple’s new Portrait watch face permits you to set pictures taken in Portrait Mode as the watch’s backdrop. 

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

Keep the Apple Watch’s display screen awake for an extended interval of time

There are occasions while you won’t need your Apple Watch’s display screen to go idle instantly. Perhaps you had been in the center of studying an extended textual content message and acquired distracted, or perhaps you need to maintain an eye in your timer. Once you faucet the Apple Watch’s display screen, it sometimes stays lively for 15 seconds. But you’ll be able to lengthen that to 70 seconds by launching the Settings menu in your watch, tapping Display & Brightness and selecting Wake Duration. Then choose the Wake for 70 Seconds possibility. 

Stop each app from mechanically putting in

Every time you put in an app in your iPhone, it’s going to mechanically set up its Apple Watch counterpart if there’s one. This can litter up your watch’s app grid fairly shortly, making it laborious to discover the apps you do need to use in your watch. 

Apple Watch showing an animated face

The Apple Watch is a lot greater than a manner to view your notifications. 

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In the Watch app in your cellphone, go to Settings > General after which slide the swap subsequent to Automatic App Install to the Off place. You can even do that on the watch by opening the Settings menu, tapping App Store and toggling the swap subsequent to Automatic Downloads.

From now on, you may set up particular person apps in your watch by opening the Watch app in your cellphone, then scrolling to the backside the place you may discover a listing of obtainable apps. 

Read extra: Best Apple Watch Apps

Silence these noisy notifications

Smartwatches could be helpful for discreetly checking an alert or the time. But loud notifications can defeat the goal. Turn in your Apple Watch’s silent mode by swiping up from the backside of the display screen to launch the Control Center. Then faucet the icon that appears like a bell to set off Silent Mode. 

You can even do that by opening the Apple Watch’s Settings menu, scrolling down to Sound & Haptics and toggling the swap subsequent to Silent Mode. There’s additionally a quantity slider for adjusting how loud or quiet incoming notifications sound when you’d quite not mute them fully.

Have Siri solely communicate out loud while you’re sporting headphones

Siri could be helpful for shortly setting timers, beginning exercises or checking the climate out of your watch. But you won’t all the time need to have Siri communicate out loud. You can simply change this in order that Siri solely gives audible suggestions while you’re sporting headphones. Open the Settings menu in your Apple Watch, scroll down to Siri and navigate to the Voice Feedback part. Then faucet the Headphones Only possibility. When your Bluetooth headphones are related to your Apple Watch, it’s best to now see the title of your headphones seem above the Siri quantity setting in the watch’s settings menu. 

Make textual content simpler to learn by growing the font measurement

Reading notifications and information headlines could be troublesome on a display screen that is so small. Luckily, you’ll be able to improve the font measurement on the Apple Watch to make issues a bit simpler in your eyes. To accomplish that, launch the Settings app in your watch and scroll down to Text Size. Rotate the Digital Crown or faucet the letters that seem on both facet of the meter to alter the textual content measurement in your watch. If you’ve gotten the Apple Watch Series 7, you may have extra measurement choices for enlarging the textual content, because it has a much bigger show. 

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Stop these annoying reminders to “Breathe”

Every few hours your Apple Watch will beep and faucet your wrist, reminding you to take a second to breathe. The first time it occurs it is form of comical; Why do I want a reminder to breathe, wacky watch?! Then it occurs once more. And once more. Every 4 hours by default, for a physiological act that’s actually involuntary. 

The Breathe reminder is designed to allow you to take a couple of minutes to clear your thoughts and management your respiration, in flip reducing your coronary heart charge and doubtlessly serving to you’re feeling extra centered and calm. But when you’re like me and by no means comply with the immediate, take a number of seconds to flip it off so that you now not have to be reminded to breathe. 

Open the Apple Watch app in your iPhone, then scroll down and faucet the Mindfulness app possibility. Next, choose Notifications off. (Note: If your watch is not operating WatchOS 8, this can seem as Breathe as an alternative of Mindfulness.)

Unlock your Apple Watch along with your iPhone

Typing in your passcode to unlock your Apple Watch could be a ache, however there’s an simpler manner to do it. You can select to have your Apple Watch unlock mechanically when your iPhone is unlocked.

Tap the Digital Crown and navigate to the Apple Watch’s Settings menu. Scroll down to Passcode, and ensure the swap subsequent to Unlock with iPhone is toggled on. Your iPhone will now additionally show an alert saying that your iPhone is getting used to unlock your Apple Watch everytime you put this into observe. 

Two Apple Watch models showing passcode numbers

You normally have to sort in your Apple Watch’s passcode to unlock it. 

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Make it simpler to discover your apps

The honeycomb app grid appears to be like nice in promotional pictures and at first look, however it may be troublesome to discover the app you need to launch, notably when you’ve got rather a lot of apps put in in your watch. Instead of in a grid, the watch can show all of your apps in an alphabetical listing. 

Either in the Watch app in your cellphone or in the Settings app on the Watch, faucet App View > List View. Now, while you press the Digital Crown to go away your watch face, you may see a listing of apps that you could shortly scroll by and discover what you are on the lookout for. 

Someone checking an Apple Watch app list while wearing the watch

See, does not the app listing look higher? 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Control while you’ll see Siri

There are three other ways to activate Siri in your Apple Watch. You can elevate your wrist towards your mouth and begin speaking, long-press the Digital Crown or use the wake phrase, “Hey, Siri.”

I’ve discovered that I typically unintentionally set off Siri when making an attempt to verify the time or learn a notification whereas I’m speaking to another person (however my watch thinks I’m making an attempt to speak to Siri). It’s annoying, however it may be modified. 

Either in the Watch app in your cellphone or in the Settings app on the Watch, choose Siri and there you may discover three buttons to management while you’ll see Siri. Slide every button to the Off place for any of the choices you don’t need to use. 

This is a hidden function that it’s best to memorize proper now. 

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Rearrange Control Center

Just like Control Center in your iPhone, Control Center on the Apple Watch is the place you go to shortly alter settings like don’t disturb and airplane mode and to activate the flashlight. 

You might discover the default listing of choices in the Control Center is not the finest match for a way you employ your watch, nevertheless, and also you need to rearrange the listing. For me, which means transferring the Bedtime toggle from close to the backside of the listing to the high. That manner after I need to observe my sleep over the weekend when I haven’t got sleep targets set, I can swipe up and faucet the icon. 

To entry the Control Center in your watch, swipe up from the backside of the watch face, or when in an app you’ll be able to long-press on the backside of the display screen till you see Control Center begin to slide up, after which you simply want to slide your finger up to entry it. The similar trick works to view your notifications from anyplace. 

Change the order, or cover some buttons in the Control Center by tapping the Edit button at the backside of the listing. The icons will start to jiggle and present a pink minus signal to cover an possibility. Drag and drop the icons into your most well-liked order, or faucet the pink minus button to take away the possibility altogether. 

When you are carried out, faucet Done or press the Digital Crown on the facet of your watch to return to the watch face. 

There are loads extra Apple Watch options which are price trying out. For instance, the ECG app may also help determine heartbeat irregularities, there are new exercise choices for Pilates and Tai Chi and you can even share your custom watch faces.

For extra, take a look at CNET’s listing of the best Apple Watch bands and every iPhone setting you should change proper now. 

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